How to Grill Pork Chops
Learn how to grill pork chops without drying them out.
By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen
Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.
Grilling is an easy way to achieve super flavorful pork chops. Follow our tips and tricks, including answers to questions like: how do you grill pork chops without drying them out?
Which Pork Chops to Use for Grilling
Pork Loin Chops
These are the most common pork chops you’ll see at the market, and they are from the top of the hog, also known as the loin. These chops are typically low in fat. Grill them incorrectly, and you'll end up with dry results. Therefore, you should always try to marinate or brine these pork chops first and cook them over high heat (watching them carefully).
Pork Shoulder Chops
Shoulder chops, also called pork steaks or blade chops, have more fat than pork loin chops. A brine or marinade work well with shoulder chops too, but they need to be grilled over a lower heat.
How to Grill Pork Chops
Follow these steps to pork chops that are deeply grilled on the outside and juicy on the inside.
How to Grill Thin Pork Chops
What are thin pork chops? They're typically about 1/4-inch thick, boneless or bone-in. Pork labeled as cutlets are also known as thin pork chops - look for ones cut from the tenderloin which will be the least tough.
1. Marinate the Pork Chops
Season pork chops and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature.
2. Prepare a Grill for Medium Heat
Preheat a clean gas or charcoal grill for medium heat. You can also use a grill pan on the stove. If you’re using a grill pan, cook the pork chops in batches, as there needs to be at least one inch between each chop so that the chops don’t steam.
3. Drain and Season the Pork Chops
Drain the pork chops and season with salt and pepper.
4. Grill the Pork Chops on One Side for 4 Minutes
Brush the grill with oil. Place chops on grill grate and let them cook until they easily release without sticking, about 4 minutes.
5. Flip and Cook On the Second Side for 3 minutes
It’s difficult to use a thermometer to take an internal temperature on a thin pork chop so you just need to trust the timing. If you do take a temperature, you want it to be 145 degrees F.
How to Grill Thick Pork Chops
Thick pork chops are 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide, and are ideal for grilling because they take longer and can achieve a really beautiful crispy crust.
1. Prepare a Grill with Two Heat Zones
In a charcoal grill, mound the coals up on one side to create high and low heat zones. Adjust burners on a gas grill to create two zones.
2. Season the Pork Chops
Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, season both sides with salt, pepper and a spice rub if you'd like, then brush them with oil.
3. Sear Both Sides Over the Direct Heat Zone
Sear the chops on the hot side of the grill and let them cook until they easily release without sticking, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side 4 minutes more.
4. Finish Cooking the Pork Over Indirect Heat
Move the pork to the low side of the grill, cover the grill and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Rest the Pork Chops Before Serving
Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
How Long to Grill Pork Chops
The answer to this question depends on how thick your pork chops are and how hot your grill is.
Thin pork chops typically take 8 minutes to cook (4 minutes of searing on each side).
Thick pork chops typically take about 20 minutes to grill to perfection - 8 minutes of searing over direct heat, plus 12 minutes of finishing over indirect heat. It’s easy to check the temp of the thicker chops with a thermometer, and we think it’s a good practice.
Grilled Pork Chop Recipes
Bourbon and BBQ just go together, and this grilled pork chop recipe, in which tender and juicy pork chops get the sweet and tangy treatment, proves it.
Grilling the pork chops without sauce until they’re half-cooked is brilliant: they get the benefit of the char from the grill without burning the sauce to a crisp before the pork is cooked through.
The pork spends 24 whole hours in a spice brine, which brings sweetness and ensures juicy results. The gremolata is made from roasted garlic which mellows out the flavor a bit.
This dish takes pork and beans to a whole new level. Grilling the pork chop and the escarole elevates the dish so it's restaurant-worthy.
Marinating the pork chops overnight ensures they're flavorful and tender. The recipe calls for shoulder blade chops, which might be labeled as pork steaks in your market.